Title: Great Grandma Silva's Chilean Empanadas
Categories: Chilean, Beef
Yield: 12 servings
2 1/2 lb Round steak or boneless rump
1 Garlic clove
1 Onion stuck with 3 cloves
1 Carrot, peeled, cut into
1/2 c Sherry
1 1/2 c Black raisins
3 tb Olive oil
1 Onion, minced
3 ts Oregano
3 ts Cumin seed, crushed
2 tb Ground chile powder
1 ts Salt
1/4 c Slivered almonds
1 c Sliced black olives, or
1/2 c Sliced stuffed green olives
2 tb Sugar for sprinkling over
1/4 c Vegetable shortening
2 tb Butter
3 c All-purpose flour
1/2 c + 1 tb water
1 ts Salt
2 1/2 c Canola oil for frying
For best results, make the filling a day ahead.
Cut meat into 6 pieces, place in a heavy pot and cover with cold
water. Add garlic, whole onion and carrot. Simmer gently for 2 hours.
If the meat cooks over high heat, it will toughen. When the meat is
tender, turn off heat and let it cool in the broth until warm to the
touch. Reserve broth.
Using a sharp knife, chop meat very finely. You also can use a food
processor but don't overdo. Grandma always minced her meat in a small
wooden bowl using a hand chopper with a curved blade, but my
ethnicity goes only so far...
Warm the sherry in a small saucepan; add the raisins and let steep
while you prep the other ingredients.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet; add the onion and saute until
softened. Stir in the oregano and crushed cumin and saute for 1
minute. Stir in the chopped beef, ground chile and salt. Cook for 15
minutes, adding enough of the reserved broth to make the mixture
glisten. It should not be soggy, just moist.
Remove picadillo from the heat, and stir in the plumped raisins, the
almonds and olives. Taste, and add more salt, oregano, cumin or chile
powder, if desired. If the picadillo seems a bit drier than you like,
add more broth or (better yet) some of the raisin sherry. Refrigerate
overnight, or up to 3 days.
The pastry: Using a large fork or pastry blender, cut the shortening
and butter into the flour until crumbly. Stir the salt into the
water. Drizzle water slowly over the flour mixture, adding just
enough to make a soft pliable dough. Knead gently a floured board for
1 minute. The dough should be smooth but not overworked. Break off a
golf ball-size piece of dough (keeping the remaining dough covered
with plastic wrap) and roll into a 6-inch circle. Place 1/2 cup
picadillo on half of the circle. Fold over the top half, pinching
over the edges; press with a fork to seal. It is important to seal
the edges well so the filling doesn't leak out during frying.
Heat the canola oil in a 2-inch deep skillet. When the oil is hot
enough it will ripple. Ease in 1 empanada and spoon hot oil over the
surface. After 1 1/2 minutes, turn the empanada. Total cooking time
for each empanada is about 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove
and drain on several thicknesses.of paper towel, blotting the surface
with more paper towels. Sprinkle empanadas lightly with sugar while
If you plan to serve the empanadas later, cool, cover, and
refrigerate. To reheat, place on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350
degree F. oven for 10 minutes.
Makes about 12 very large empanadas
PER LARGE TURNOVER: 520 calories, 28 g protein, 44 g carbo- hydrate,
27 g fat (6 g saturated), 73 mg cholesterol, 572 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.
Jacquiline Higuera McMahan writing in the San Francisco Chronicle,